London: Australia captain David Warner has hailed his team-mates after registering a comfortable six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the fourth and penultimate One-Day International (ODI) to clinch the series.
The victory in the fourth ODI was the visitor’s most comprehensive on tour, as they ran down Sri Lanka’s 212 with six wickets in hand and 19 overs remaining in Dambulla on Wednesday.
Aaron Finch had set the chase off apace with a 18-ball fifty, which featured three sixes and eight fours. His share of a 5.3 over opening stand which yielded 74 runs, was 55. Warner was 18 off 14 balls at the other end, eventually making 19 from 16.
“It’s always awesome to have one of your players go off like that and for me it is more of a watching tour to be honest. I’ve been up the other end or in the dugout watching the guys go about it. But it’s fantastic – I love that Finch comes out and plays his game,” Warner was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Wednesday.
“That’s how we play. That’s the Australian way. We have always played that way, and as I said to the guys today, you almost know what your role is. The first 10 overs was the new ball and we had to make the most of it.”
“It’s about getting a good start in these conditions and make use of that new ball when we’re batting, because otherwise you see what happens when the ball gets old – it starts turning square.”
George Bailey top-scored for Australia for the second match in a row, converting Finch’s start into a win with a 85-ball 90 not out. He was impressive against the Sri Lankan spinners, using his feet often, and using the sweep and reverse-sweep better than any Australia batsman has done on the tour.
Although his team has won the series, Warner was critical of the surfaces that have been prepared this series. He said he would rather see pitches like the one at Trent Bridge, on which England made a record score of 444 against Pakistan on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka’s ODI venues have been consistently low-scoring over the past decade. A score of over 300 has never been successfully chased down on the Island.
“It’s hard to gain momentum when the wickets prepared are like this. I speak from an Australian cricketer’s point of view – we’re about growing the game. When it comes to one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket you like to see more of a contest where you’re scoring over 300 runs and you’re chasing down totals,” the right-handed batsman added.
“Sitting back last night and watching England score 400, then coming out here, busting our backsides for both teams scramble to 200 – it’s probably not ideal for people coming out here to watch that kind of cricket,” Warner signed off.